June Newsletter of Police-Community Relations Council
Next Meeting – Open Forum
The next meeting of the Western District Police-Community Relations Council will be on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, in the meeting room at the Western District Station, starting at 7:30 p.m.
A representative of the 911 Center will provide some information on the use of 911 and non-emergency numbers when calling for the police. After a short business meeting the remainder of the meeting will be an open forum with Captain Hodge, both to become acquainted with the new District Commander and to discuss community problems or concerns. If you have problems, or anticipate problems during the summer that may warrant police attention, this will be an excellent opportunity to discuss these with Captain Hodge.
Following Meeting – September
The meeting on June 13 will be the last before we take a break for the summer in July and August. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, September 12, 2012.
During the Western District portion of Shred-A-Rama VI, held at Arundel High School on May 9, we had 227 vehicles bring in 527 boxes and bags of documents. By the time that we ended at 1:00 p.m., the truck was full, with approximately 10,000 pounds of shredded paper.
Minutes of April Meeting
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m.
The guest speaker for the evening was Detective Damion Dzambo of the Financial Crime Unit, Criminal Investigations Division, who talked about home computer security and internet-associated scams. In homes with children, he noted, the computer should be located in a “public” place (living room, kitchen, family room) where adults can monitor computer use. Children should also be taught to never give out their entire name, address or name of their school. They should also be taught that everything they post on Facebook, My Space and Twitter becomes known to the entire world. Also, chat room exchanges must be discreet and guarded because one never knows with whom he or she is communicating, or what these strangers might be seeking.
Adults need to recognize various internet scams like phishing (emails that request personal information), spoofing (a factitious website that appears to be real, that also requests personal information) and online auctions/sales that involve money transactions. Detective Dzambo advised any person who thinks he or she has been victimized by internet fraud to immediately notify the police and the Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
There was then a brief business session. The minutes for the March meeting were approved as published and the Treasurer’s report was given and approved. Preparations for Shred-A-Rama VI have been finalized for May 19 at Arundel High School from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers were requested to perform various duties.
Corporals Ingrassia and Cash will be the guest speakers in May, describing the activities of the K9 Unit, the Aviation Unit, the Quick Response Team (aka SWAT) and Traffic Safety.
Acting Western District Commander Lieutenant Hasenpusch then announced some pending personnel changes: Captain Eric Hodge will become the new Western District Commander and Lieutenant Ross Passman will become the Executive Officer. Captain Hodge is coming from the Emergency Operations Center and Lt Passman from Southern District. Lt. Hasenpusch is being transferred to the Emergency Operations Center, replacing Captain Hodge there.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9 p.m.
Minutes of May Meeting
In the absence of President Dave Daughters due to illness, Vice President Anna Brus called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.
Lieutenant Short, the Shift 2 Commander, announced that neither Captain Hodge nor Lieutenant Passman could attend the meeting due to the Departmental Awards Ceremony at the same time. Lt. Short reported that the new casino at Arundel Mills Mall will open on June 6. Opening day festivities will be marked by some 200 VIP guests, who have received special invitations and their special schedule. The general public will be admitted on the same day at different times, to be announced. Lt. Short then discussed the special manning that will be in effect on that day.
The first guest speaker was then introduced – Detective Oberbey of the Domestic Violence Unit. She advised that her unit handles some 50 cases monthly and that victims include both males and females. The unit provides victims with various kinds of counseling, escort services and transportation as needed. Det. Oberbey concluded her remarks with a question and answer session.
Corporals Steve Ingrassia and John Zimmer, then discussed the Special Operations Section. Both officers, who have extensive experience in SOS, took turns describing the various duties and capabilities of the section. The unit has a Quick Response Team that is equipped and trained to deal with all kinds of emergencies, such as bank robberies, hostage-taking, confrontations with heavily-armed adversaries, VIP movements, crowd control, repelling operations, chemical-biological-radiation events, ship boarding, sniper requirements, traffic control, etc. If required, the unit can also deploy K9 teams and aviation support. SOS personnel are all volunteers, who have satisfied many stringent written and physical tests. They are on constant stand-by status and must be ready to respond to emergencies in 60 minutes of less. They undergo continuous training involving the use of various weapons and equipment and the application of tactical responses to various types of threats. Ingrassia and Zimmer concluded their presentation with a question-and-answer session.
The minutes for the April meeting were then read and approved and the Treasurer’s report was given and approved.
Vice-President Brus reminded those present of Shred-A-Rama VI on May 19 and adjourned the meeting at approximately 8:30 p.m.
Some Final Words
Last call for payment of 2012 dues. Due to expense of postage and copying, we will begin reducing our non-member mailings following the June meeting. If you receive the newsletter by mail and can provide an email address, please contact me.
Have a pleasant summer, even if you do have to cut the grass.